An Insider’s Guide To The Downtown Scene
In recent years, downtown Las Vegas has experienced a tremendous amount of revitalization, transforming
into one of the most dynamic, interesting and diverse parts of the city. Downtown has become an exciting
food and beverage district, where many of the city’s best and hippest new restaurants, bars, retail and
microbreweries have opened in recent years, as well as an eclectic mix of old and new boutiques, galleries
and other businesses.
Check out the creative collection of visual artists, writers and musicians in the Arts District and the
Fremont East Entertainment District, and explore downtown’s street gallery comprised of hundreds of
murals and installation pieces from the Las Vegas Centennial, First Friday, Life Is Beautiful Festival and
more. Stop into one of the area’s nationally recognized cocktail bars where they’re handcrafting some of
the country’s finest cocktails.
Visit uniquely Vegas museums, from The Mob Museum to the cultural corridor ’s Neon Museum and Old
Mormon Fort. Take in classic lights in the city’s original strip, the Fremont Street Experience. Enjoy a huge
collection of luxury brands at the Las Vegas Premium Outlet mall, or venture a couple of blocks east to
Main Street to peruse the city’s best retro and vintage shops.
Downtown Las Vegas also serves as a hub for tech businesses, and is home to modern architecture like the
Frank Gehry-designed Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. A central area for the city’s legal
and justice industries, downtown is also home to Las Vegas City Hall, county and transportation services,
Vintage Vegas experiences are also preserved throughout downtown, from old-school, fine-dining
restaurants that once welcomed the Rat Pack to Las Vegas’ oldest freestanding bar to throwback slot
machines and games like Sigma Derby that still take coins.
If you visit on the first weekend of the month, check out First Friday, Las Vegas’ monthly art and music
experience. Then hit the streets on foot or bike to befriend an engaging mix of locals and visitors. Only
then will you be a true downtowner.
Downtown Insider’s Food Guide
Downtown Las Vegas’ dining is evolving so fast, it’ll likely change by the time you finish reading this sentence.
But we won’t jump ahead just yet. Long-lasting casino favorites like Binion’s Steak House, Vic & Anthony’s at the
Golden Nugget, and Hugo’s Cellar still hold a special charm. And Fremont’s Paradise Buffet and Café, Oscar ’s
Steakhouse at The Plaza, and Siegel’s 1941 at the El Cortez deliver that classic Las Vegas vibe in quality, quantity
and décor. The Triple 7 Restaurant and Microbrewery at Main Street Station remains a popular spot for its fresh
brews and big menu, and The Redwood Bar & Grill at the California Hotel & Casino serve seafood to impress
discriminating Hawaiians. For a classic Italian menu that’s anything but basic, there’s Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italian
Steakhouse at the D Las Vegas, and for a fresh update on the Las Vegas coffee shop, there’s the S + O Restaurant
at Downtown Grand, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Finally, you’d be remiss not to stop in at Du-Par ’s
Restaurant and Bakery for its justly famous pies and pancakes.
All that being said, the downtown renaissance of cocktail lounges and stylish hangouts has been complemented
by a wave of great new restaurants.
You’ll find elements of the current farm-to-table cuisine movement downtown. There’s also gourmet pizza,
thoughtful Thai, an abundance of great burgers, nouveau Mexican, and chicken and waffles–you can even find
a vegan take on the dish during VegeNation’s weekend brunch. And it’s getting better by the minute, with new
restaurants constantly popping up.
The best restaurants in Las Vegas are no longer just on the Strip. A bold crop of eateries are taking over the
city’s “Best of ” lists, from internationally established chefs like Pizza Rock’s Tony Gemignani and the late Kerry
Simon of Carson Kitchen to passionate first-time restaurateurs living their dreams. Downtown’s dining scene is
also home to a growing group of fiercely talented chefs who recently left some of the Strip’s finest restaurants to
create something new.
There’s an impressive diversity to downtown’s offerings as well. Mexican food with a twist and the city’s best
margaritas at La Comida; noodles and cocktails at Itsy Bitsy: Ramen & Whisky; an upscale food court of options
at The Commissary at Downtown Grand; street food from around the world that’s 100 percent plant-based at
VegeNation; ridiculously good breakfast and lunch dishes at Eat, and more all exist in delicious harmony. Come
downtown hungry, and leave happy.